OKO Group spent a year negotiating individual sales of all of the 61 units on the property, paying a total of $48 million to buy the 11-story building outright in 2016.
Soon, they will tear it down.
With vacant waterfront property in short supply throughout Miami-Dade County, real estate developers are increasingly targeting older, existing condo buildings and buying out the owners at premium prices. Then the old building comes down, replaced by a bigger, state-of-the-art luxury tower.
The process, known as condo termination, is complicated and has many moving parts. But when it works, it can lead to the birth of a formidable new property — and leave the owners of aging condos with an unexpected windfall.
OKO Group, in partnership with the investment company Cain International, will turn the 25th Road site into the home of Una, a swooping 47-story luxury tower, with exteriors and interiors designed by the international architectural firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.
The tower will hold 135 residences, each with a private elevator entry, ranging in size from 1,100 to 4,786 square feet. Prices will go from $900,000 to more than $5 million. Potential buyers can see what the final units will look like — lots of wood, stone and leather, warm tones and floor-to-ceiling windows — by visiting a new sales center now open at the site. Construction is targeted to be completed by 2021.
“If you have confidence in a market — and we have a lot of confidence in Miami — you have to back it with your own equity,” said Jonathan Goldstein, CEO of Cain International, a London-based funding and investment firm. “You’re going against the grain a little bit. You’ve got to have the confidence of your convictions. It’s during the times when other [developers] can’t access the marketplace when you can hopefully do the best. But we would not be averse to third-party financing if it becomes available at the right time.”
Doronin and Goldstein believe the Una’s unique location combined with timing — no other luxury tower is currently slated to break ground south of Brickell — will allow the project to stand out from the pack and buck market forces.
“This is a very established neighborhood, very private and quiet,” Doronin said. “There has been no new construction here for the last 10 years. We were lucky to manage to purchase this site. And for the near-future, no one else is going to build here. We won’t have any competitors in South Brickell.”
Doronin also points out that international buyers pay special attention to high-profile projects, such as OKO’s $350 million Missoni Baia tower in Edgewater.
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